While the Federal Communications Commission doesn't offer a dedicated electronics license, its license holders – including radio operators and maintainers -- do work closely with electronic equipment. FCC licenses prove your qualifications and help legitimize you in the eyes of employers. Jobs aren't limited to radio work; many electronics-based employers seek FCC licensees for their experience and knowledge, though most employees with FCC licenses will work closely with communications technology.
Types of Licenses
The type of job you can get with an FCC license depends greatly on which license you hold. The FCC offers the Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit (RRP) and the Marine Radio Operator Permit (MROP) for aircraft and maritime radio operators, respectively. The General Radiotelephone Operators License (GROL) allows holders to maintain and repair aviation, marine and fixed radios. Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Operator or Maintainer licenses cater to professionals dealing with international GMDSS systems. Additionally, the FCC offers Radar Endorsement and Morse Code licenses.
Maritime and Aviation Jobs
Ship radio stations that operate on medium or high frequencies need FCC licensed operators, as do ships that transmit radiotelegraphy and ships that weigh more than 300 gross tons. Unless they make only domestic flights and use only very high frequencies, all aircraft radio stations are required to hire FCC licensees. Avionics technicians, another job for those certified by the FCC, remove, install and test electronic avionics equipment.
Another job for those who meet FCC qualifications, fixed network engineers work closely with electronics as they design, modify and transport network systems. Microwave engineers perform similar tasks in the telecommunications field. Communication system engineers often hold FCC licenses, as do project engineers, who work with base stations, mobile communications devices, microwave systems, trunked radios and auxiliary equipment.
Radiotelephone and radiotelegraph stations must employee FCC license holders for operation, maintenance and repairs. Wireless communication services also commonly hire FCC licensees to serve as radio frequency supervisors and radio frequency technicians. Electronics technicians use FCC-approved workers to install, maintain and repair equipment such as radios, fiber-optic cables, personal computers and local area networks. For some electronics-related careers – such as import and export coordinators and even sales managers in the electronics industry – having an FCC license is not mandatory, but it may be preferred by employers.
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